Couples counseling is much like any other activity in life – you only get as much out of it as you’re willing to put into it. Couples that are dedicated to their therapy programs experience faster, more significant improvements in their relationships. Whether you are in premarital counseling, divorce prevention therapy, or family and marriage counseling, there are steps you can take to improve your experience along the way.
Here are some tips to improve your couple’s counseling sessions.
Write Down Conflicts You Experience Between Sessions
It may be hard to recall an issue you had on Monday if your counseling appointments are on Friday. In fact, many couples have a hard time remembering what started an argument in the first place. Make notes about issues throughout the week – what started the argument, what you discussed along the way, and what you did to resolve it (if anything). Then you’ll have a concise list to review with your counselor during the session.
Actively Apply the Lessons You Learn
Therapy programs come with a little homework. You can’t just talk about things in counseling and expect them to get better on their own. Actively apply your counselor’s advice to real-life scenarios. The next time you have an argument, go through the conflict resolution steps you learned in therapy. These will vary from one couple to the next based on how you communicate with one another. If you follow-through with the lessons you learn, you will see much faster results with your couples counseling.
Let Each Person Talk For An Equal Amount Of Time
There should be a balance in your therapy sessions, just like there is in your relationship. If one person is speaking much more than the other, the counselor may not get the full view of the problem. Your therapist will help you find a balance in your communication, but you can strive for that on your own as well. If you speak a lot more than your spouse, take a step back. If you feel shy and quiet, try to open up during your counseling sessions. This is a judgment-free, unbiased platform. Take advantage of it!
Do Not Discuss Your Couples Counseling Sessions With Other People
This is one of the easiest ways to drive a wedge in your relationship. There is nothing wrong with having a support system, but certain issues need to remain between you and your spouse. If you need someone to talk to about marital issues, consider scheduling an individual appointment with your couples counselor. This will let you speak out without having a biased third-party weigh in on your relationship.
Learn To Forgive And Let Go
You’re interested in couples counseling, which means that you want to give your relationship a fighting chance. You cannot move forward if you let the past weigh you down. If there are lingering issues that have never been addressed, talk about them during counseling. Once you reach a resolution, move forward and let go. Every moment you spend getting angry is a missed opportunity to make new memories. Focus on the beautiful future that lies ahead of you.
Be The Speaker And The Listener
In order for couples counseling to work, each person needs to be a speaker and a listener. Express your thoughts and feelings during your counseling sessions, and make sure you listen to your spouse when it’s his turn to speak. This is the only way you’ll be able to truly improve your relationship dynamic and avoid conflicts later on. With the right commitment, you are sure to see positive changes from couples counseling.